Linked by snydeq on Tue 16th Aug 2011 16:46 UTC
Web 2.0 InfoWorld's Peter Wayner discusses the 11 hard truths Web developers must accept in making the most of HTML5 -- especially those who are looking to leverage HTML5 in hopes of unseating native apps. 'The truth is, despite its powerful capabilities, HTML5 isn't the solution for every problem. Its additional features are compelling and will help make Web apps formidable competitors for native apps, but security issues, limitations of local data storage, synchonization challenges, and politics should have us all scaling back our expectations for the spec.'
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RE[2]: HTML 5 == Pointless Bloat
by Brendan on Wed 17th Aug 2011 03:15 UTC in reply to "RE: HTML 5 == Pointless Bloat"
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

"combined with most people STILL using tags for what they look like instead of what they mean -- and it's hardly a shock you see bloated slow inaccessible pages vomited up using hundreds of K of code to deliver less than 10k of content.


Can't argue with that at all.
"

Must be my turn then.

For HTML, the content itself is just data from "somewhere" (typically a database); and the job of a web developer is to design and control the presentation of that content. Idiotic crud like CSS and "semantic" tags (even old stuff, like the "em" tag) just make it harder for web developers to do their job well (as they can't really say how any specific browser might render it), and push developers towards using things like Flash as a way of controlling presentation.

One supposed advantage of semantics is that it's "important" for accessibility. This is misguided, as most accessibility stuff needs to be taken care of at the OS's level so that all applications (not just stuff displayed by a web browser) is usable; and if accessibility is taken care of at the OS's level (like it already is in most OSs) then HTML itself needn't care about most accessibility. Of course for blind people, you really don't want HTML at all - you want something designed for complete control over audio (both sound and speech synthesis), including timing, volume, position, etc; and you want web developers to design sites specifically for audio (including site navigation, etc) instead of trying to make something intended for visual content delivery (and primarily used for visual content delivery) work in a "half-assed, almost better than nothing" way.

Then there's thing like search engines, which are already capable of producing extremely good results from things that lack any semantics; like PDF files, MS word files, text files, etc. They have no need for semantic markup, and often the tags intended for search engines (like the "keywords" meta-tags) are deliberately ignored by search engines.

For anything more than that, if you want "raw content + semantics" then use XML (not HTML and not XHTML).

Basically, the only valid reason for any/all tags in HTML is to tell the browser how something should look. Rather than concentrating on doing the job it was intended for (and doing it well); since HTML4 they've been making it worse just to make HTML something it was never intended to be.

- Brendan

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